Abuja — The House of Representatives has commenced investigation of Nigeria’s national revenue loss and other impacts of gas flaring in the country.
The Speaker of the House, Hon. Tajudeen Abbas, while inaugurating the Ad hoc Committee set up by the House to handle the task in Abuja, said official records indicated that Nigeria was losing about 2.5 billion dollars annually to gas flaring.
He stated that the task before the committee, headed by Hon. Babba Munir (APC-Kaduna State), was a critical one, at the heart of the health of the people and the economic well-being of the nation.
Abbas described gas flaring as one of the most harmful practices in the oil and gas industry in Nigeria, adding that the practice has for years been a significant environmental, economic, health and social concern in the country.
He also said gas flaring was a major contributor to climate change and environmental degradation, a tremendous waste of valuable resources, and has negative impacts on soil, water, and wildlife.
According to the speaker, the flared gas is a resource that could be put to veritable use in electricity generation, heating and industrial processes.
Said he: “The task before this ad hoc committee is a very critical one that lies at the heart of the health of our people and economic well-being of our nation.
“You have been charged with the responsibility of investigating, perhaps, one of the most harmful practices in the oil and gas industry in Nigeria.”
“Gas flaring and venting have been a significant environmental, economic, health and social concern in our country for many years.
“The flared gas represents lost revenue that could have been generated through its sale or utilisation. Official records indicate that we lose about 2.5 billion dollars annually to gas flaring,” he added.
The Chairman of the committee, Hon. Munir, on his part, said despite concerns and efforts to arrest gas flaring by the oil companies and the government, the practice has continued in the oil producing areas, hence the need to probe the development.
Munir, who stated that the members of the committee were representing the interests of the entire Nigerians, said: “We are here to give everyone a fair hearing, to know where the loopholes are, where we need to tweak our laws to ensure we get optimal results.
“We do not have to revisit how important it is to our revenue drive needed for infrastructure, security, education and health.
“It is a win-win situation for even the oil companies because if revenues are generated, it is spent on securing our nation, on infrastructure that will better their operations.”
He further stated: “We are insisting and putting our feet down that all agencies of government and oil companies, once you are invited, we expect you to come with your full submissions and with the highest representation of your organisation.”
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